Our Company

About Us

Who We Are

Diplomatic Language Services (DLS) is a premier provider of language services to the federal government, military, and the private sector. From language and cultural training to translation, interpretation, and curriculum development, we maintain a single objective: understanding and exceeding our customers’ expectations.


Providing expert, quality-focused, language services with consistent attention to our client’s needs


Placing high priority on serving our clients in a timely manner and adapting quickly to their needs

Trust and Respect

Interacting with our clients positively and building relationships based on honesty and solid business ethics

Forward Thinking

Seeking ways not only to solve problems, but to turn the better into the best

Language Matters


Who We Serve

  • Students

    Every day we hear variations of the same story, “XYZ referred me here because they really enjoyed their class at DLS.” The majority of students who learn a foreign language with us receive sponsorship from the federal government or another employer, but we also cater to self-sponsored students, who are using a foreign language to advance their careers and to accomplish their personal goals.

    As one of our Spanish students explained, what foreign language learners get at DLS is, “not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather customized language training geared toward adult learners and government professionals. They care about your needs and work hard to see you improve and succeed, providing an intensive learning program that even includes mock exams. DLS is hands-down the best in the business.”

    Interested in enhancing your language skills? Please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

  • Government

    DLS is the language service provider of choice for several government agencies. Our services include instruction in more than 85 languages, curriculum development, translation, interpretation, cultural training, linguist support, and testing. We serve our government clients located across the U.S. and around the world.

    In serving government clients for over 30 years, we have learned to anticipate our clients’ evolving needs and provide responsive services. As priorities change and new challenges emerge, we are always ready to perform a needs analysis and provide customized, cost-efficient solutions for your unique requirements.

    DLS is a long-term partner with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others.

  • Corporations

    DLS is here to help your business go global! In an increasingly globalized world, your potential to tap into new audiences is limitless. Our language training, customized curriculum development, translation and localization services will enable you to communicate anywhere in the world.

    We understand that every business has its own corporate culture and unique approach to the global market. At the start of our collaboration, we will discuss your company’s culture and goals to tailor the best approach to meet your objectives.


  • Air Force Security Assistance Squadron (AFSAT)
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Center for American Progress
  • Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO)
  • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
  • Defense Language Institute – Washington
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of State
  • FBI National Virtual Translation Center
  • International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
  • National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Institutes of Health Sandia National Laboratories
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

And many more….

Our Team

Our employees are our number one asset. They deliver top-quality language and cultural training, design innovative curriculum, and provide superior linguistic support for translation and interpretation requirements.

Jim Bellas

CEO & President

Jim Bellas is our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. He assures that we live DLS core values, pursue our purpose, and leads the team that provides strategic and financial leadership at all levels. Jim works directly with partners, clients, and vendors in both the government and private sectors. Because DLS is committed to continual improvement, we have become the premier provider of language services, including training, testing, and curriculum development. Beyond his day job, he enjoys performing at open mic nights, traveling, and spending time with his four adult children and four grandchildren.

Raluca Angelescu

Executive Vice President

Raluca Angelescu is the Executive Vice President. She has been with us since the company was acquired in 2006.  Her focus is overseeing new business development through the capture, bid, and post-bid phases of the process. Part of that is integrating new lines of business into operations. Her successes include assimilating curriculum development and OCONUS linguist deployment. Raluca earned her MBA from the University of Maryland.

Molly Sampson

Director of Language Programs

Molly Sampson joined our Language Training Department in 2007.  She worked as the Program Manager of the Curriculum Development Department prior to becoming the Director of Language Programs. Molly has also worked as an English instructor in the Washington DC area, San Francisco, and Kenya. She brings a unique perspective through her academic background in Anthropology and Education from Bucknell University and a M.A. in Anthropology from American University.

Lindsey Weaver

Project Manager

Lindsey joined DLS in February of 2017 as our Student Services and Event Coordinator. Now she manages our front-end operations and facilities and provides executive support to our CEO and other executive team members. She holds a BA in Exercise Science and a Master’s in Business Administration. She enjoys any outdoor activity, especially running, soccer, golf, and kayaking.

Shruti Shrestha

Accounting Manager

Shruti Shrestha has been working with DLS  as a Junior Accountant since February 2014. She is from the beautiful country of Nepal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting. She also has four years of experience in customer service and accounting.

Pim Tovanabutra

Contract & HR Specialist

Pim Tovanabutra joined DLS in 2014 as a Thai Language Instructor. She then became a Human Resources and Project Coordinator. She earned a BA in English Literature in Thailand before receiving a MA in Human Resource Management.

Penny Teng

Account Specialist

Penny Teng joined the DLS team since June 2018 as a junior accountant. She graduated from Assumption International University, Bangkok, Thailand with B.A. in Business Administration. In her spare time, she loves cooking, spending time with her two dogs and hanging out in parks.

April Bellas

Director of Technology & Marketing

April Bellas was part of the DLS team from 2008-2010 as Student Services Coordinator Intern. She rejoined the DLS team in October 2015 as Marketing Coordinator. Prior to rejoining, April worked extensively in marketing and office management to help recently graduated chiropractors build their medical practices. She believes in empowering people to share their languages and cultures to increase understanding.

Blythe Collins

Marketing Specialist

Blythe joined DLS in August 2019 as a Marketing Coordinator. After graduating from American University with a BA in Journalism with a Marketing minor, she worked in various communications positions including content creation for WeddingWire and as Junior Editor at a startup DC-based fashion magazine. She loves learning, doing yoga, and traveling.

Claire Bowler

Marketing Intern

Claire joined DLS in 2023 as a Marketing Intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Maryland, majoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. In her free time, Claire enjoys hiking, playing board games, and reading.

Florian Ngono

Salesforce Administrator

Florian Joined DLS in January 2022 as the Junior Salesforce Administrator. He holds a certification in Salesforce Administration and has an affinity for customer service as well as language learning. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and conversational Portuguese. Outside of work, he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, and creating new recipes with his wife.

Abigail Roberson

Data Intern

Abigail Roberson joined DLS in July 2021 as a Data Management Intern. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in Foreign Languages before receiving a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently working towards a Master of Information Science degree at Florida State University. Prior to DLS, Abigail worked in several roles within higher education and has experience with research, content writing, and document management. She enjoys learning about history and volunteering as a Spotter for the National Weather Service in her free time.

Alma Sadikaj

Registrar & Client Relationship Manager

Alma Sadikaj knows how to match your requests to DLS’ capabilities through her years of combined experience in international development, political affairs, program management, training and coaching, human resources and recruitment, logistics and operations, education, administration, marketing, sales and client relations. Prior to joining us, Alma worked in both the non-profit and private sectors. Her passions are gardening, travel, and acquiring insights about how cultures and languages are linked.

Krysia Simons

Registrar & Sales Coordinator

Krysia Simons joined DLS in July 2022 as our Registrar and Sales Coordinator. She has a BA in Business Administration from the University of New York in Prague and SUNY Empire State College.

Kate Marden

Recruiting Manager

Kate Marden joined the DLS recruiting team in 2011. She started her career in the language services industry with a medical interpretation company in Minneapolis after earning a BA in German from Georgetown University. Kate also spent several years recruiting immigration court interpreters for the DOJ before joining DLS. While at DLS, she earned a MS in Exercise, Fitness and Health Promotion from George Mason University, and she uses that knowledge to run several of DLS’ wellness programs.

Lucia Lazanova

Testing Specialist

Lucia joined DLS in June 2022 as a Staffing Coordinator helping recruiting and Language Training teams with their staffing needs. She holds BA and MA in English/German Language and Literature, and a Master of Business Administration. She likes traveling to different countries and learning about other cultures.

Janet Chou

Senior Language Training Manager

Janet Chou joined DLS in 2006.  Currently, Janet is the Herndon Language Training Manager, overseeing the operations of the DLS Herndon location. She has a MA in Chinese-English Translation and Interpretation from Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Valerie Matagne

Language Training Manager

Valerie Matagne is the Language Training Manager in our location in Elkridge, Maryland. She has a degree in Linguistics and Contemporary Literature from France. Valerie has worked as a French instructor and an academic director in the Washington DC area before joining DLS. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling.

Simona Floris Westlund

Academic Advisor

Simona Floris Westlund has been working at DLS since 2010, supervising various departments, including Romance languages, Arabic and African languages. She holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Cagliari, Sardinia and an MA in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies from the University of Siena.

Simona Gentile

Language Training Supervisor

Simona began working at DLS in 2016, first as an Italian instructor and curriculum developer, and in 2017 she started her current position as a LT assistant for romance languages. She moved to the US from Abruzzo, Italy, in 1999. She has a degree in economics and a Master of Arts in Italian from Middelbury College. She has close to 18 years of collegiate teaching experience, including teaching at George Washington Univeristy, Catholic University, and Pennsylvania State University.

Tameem Sameem

Language Training Supervisor

Tameem has a BA in economics from Kabul University, and has held different linguistic, teaching, and translation positions since 2003, including working as an ESL instructor and as a linguist for the US Military in Afghanistan. At DLS, he has worked as an instructor for the AfPak project and a curriculum developer for the SOCOM project. In 2017, he began working as a language training assistant for Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic, Hindi, and Russian instructors.

Faraidoon Saadat

Academic Advisor

Faraidoon Saadat joined DLS as an instructor in 2011. He was then promoted to Pashto Language Training Supervisor in 2012 due to his educational background and professional expertise in areas of teaching methodology and linguistics. He showed continued success in providing language learning counsel to students and  capacity building and professional development trainings to the AfPak program instructors. Therefore, he was promoted to AfPak Language Training Supervisor in 2016 helping Pashto, Dari and Urdu instructors and students.  Mr. Saadat has more than 10 years of experience teaching adults. He has been an evening faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College since January 2012, teaching English as a Second Language. He is fluent in four languages. He has a BA in English Linguistics and Literature and a MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Kansas State University.

Christina Hayes

Language Training & Resources Manager

Christina Hayes arrived at DLS in 2010 and spent her first year working as a Mandarin Chinese instructor. She then earned a full-time position as a Language Training Specialist. During that time, she hosted professional development trainings and workshops for foreign language teachers.  In 2013, she began working in her current position as the Language Training Supervisor for Asian Languages. Christina was born and raised in Shijiazhuang, China. Later on she moved to Nanjing, China to attend university and obtained her B.A. in Finance and a second major in Business English.

Thomas Kurpit

Language Training Coordinator

Thomas joined the DLS team in 2021 as Client Support & Facilities Coordinator. In 2022, he transitioned to his current position in the Language Training Department as Language Training Coordinator for Asian languages and English. He holds an M.A. in Linguistics and TESOL from George Mason University and a B.A. in Linguistics with a minor in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia. In addition to his work at DLS, Thomas has also been teaching ESL since 2017. When he is not traveling or studying other languages, Thomas can be found cooking, doing outdoor activities, or trying out new cafes in the area.

Sophie Li

Language Training Coordinator

Fang (Sophie) Li joined DLS in April of 2022 as a Language Training coordinator in the Herndon office. Before this role, she was a Mandarin instructor at DLS for 2 years. She holds a BA in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and pursuing a MA in International Education Leadership and Change, which will finish in April 2023. She loves outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, scuba diving, and hiking.

Megumi Noorani

Language Training Coordinator

Megumi Noorani joined DLS in April 2010 as a Japanese instructor. She later joined the staff as a Language Training Assistant 2022. She holds BA in Applied Linguistics and has completed the Japanese Teacher Training Course (420 hours). In her free time, she enjoys basketball, biking, and karate.

Anastasiya Sel

Language Training Coordinator

Anastasiya Sel has more than 15 years of experience teaching adults and has been with DLS for many years. Anastasiya is a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated educator who wants to see all her students succeed as language learners. In 2022, she started her current position as Language Training Coordinator in the EA Department. Anastasiya has a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Teaching from the Linguistic University in Kazakhstan and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is a native Russian speaker, and fluent in Turkish. In her free time, she enjoys ice skating and biking on local trails.

Katia Anderson

Mission Support Specialist

Katia Anderson is a native Russian and Belarusian speaker with a Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Teaching from the Linguistic University in Minsk. Katia taught English there, as well as Russian at DLS and GMU, worked as a contract translator and supported the US mission in Minsk, Belarus, as well as that of the Defense Attaché Office in Kiev. If she is not rowing or traveling, she is likely studying another language or reading. At the moment, she manages one of the government contracts for DLS.

Ruoyang Sun

Chinese Instructor & Program Support

Ruoyang joined DLS in October 2022 as a Marketing Coordinator. She earned a BA in English Language and Literature from Xiamen University in China before coming to the US for an MA in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and passionate about intercultural communication and digital media. She enjoys running, watching movies, and connecting with friends in her free time. 

Danijela Adams

Operations & DLI Administrator

Danijela Adams joined DLS in October 2021 as the Client Support and Operations Coordinator. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University and is fluent in Croatian and German. She loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Jessamine Price

Proposal Writer

Jessamine Price joined DLS in 2023 as a Proposal Writer. She holds an MPhil in history from Oxford University and an MFA in creative writing from American University. Before coming to DLS, she worked as an EFL teacher trainer in South Korea. She loves language learning and has devoted a ridiculous number of hours to studying Korean and Arabic (MSA, Egyptian and Yemeni).

Su Grabowski

LMS Administrator

Su joined DLS in June of 2022 as our LMS Administrator. She was born and raised in China and moved to the United States in 2008 for further education at George Mason University. Su holds a MA in Foreign Language Instruction and Curriculum Design. In her spare time, Su enjoys traveling, hiking, playing music, and spending time with her family and friends.

Lia Sauder

Language Project Specialist

Lia joined the DLS team in 2020 as a Language Training Coordinator for the Asian Languages Department. Having grown up in China and spent time in Indonesia as an adult, Lia has a love for all things Asian. She has a B.A. in Linguistics and B.A. in Chinese from the University of Maryland, College Park. In her spare time, Lia loves spending time with friends, drinking coffee, and playing piano & guitar, sometimes all at the same time.

Abdul Reshtin

Recruiter & Team Lead

Abdul Reshtin joined DLS in 2009 as a web-based Curriculum Developer. Currently, Abdul works as a Project Coordinator. He holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and a Digital Marketing Analyst certificate from LaGuardia College. He likes technology, and enjoys hiking, soccer, and traveling. He has previously worked for the U.S. federal government and the United Nations.

Tricia Schnell

Mission Support Specialist

Tricia joined DLS in March 2023 as a Mission Support Specialist with the National Language Service Corps. Previously she was a Foreign Service Officer, a U.S. Senate committee staff member, and an ESL teacher. She enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, and volunteering in her community.

Samantha Estes

Federalization Specialist

Samantha Estes initially joined the DLS team in 2022 as a Marketing Intern and again in 2023 as our Federalization Specialist. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A in Public Relations and a focus in Digital Marketing. Prior to joining DLS, Samantha held the position as a Marketing Intern for Marketing for Speakers, a website consulting company, and a Public Relations Intern for Souled out Journeys, a travel blog.

Liz Redd

Project Manager

Liz Redd joined DLS in September 2014 as Student Services and Facilities Coordinator and now manages the Translation and Interpretation Department. Some of her strengths are adaptability and individualization and she appreciates the challenge of making sure all of her department’s projects are catered specifically to the needs of each client. Liz keeps up on the ever-evolving field of translation and interpretation through webinars, articles, and conferences and is always trying to make sure she understands the work from the perspective of the contractors we work with. Liz enjoys learning about other cultures and people through travel, reading, food, and personal language study.

Nadia Arzberger

Client Support & Operations Coordinator

Nadia Arzberger joined DLS in June of 2022 as a Client Support and Operations Coordinator. She holds a BA in archaeology from Purdue University and a MA in cultural anthropology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She enjoys learning languages (Korean, Chinese, and French) as well as playing tennis and baking.

Mission and Vision


We make the world better when we understand each other.


We further communication and understanding in the world through our work as a leading language services provider, recognized for quality, responsiveness, and forward thinking.


To be the language service provider of choice – Success means exceeding our student’s and customer’s goals;
To be the workplace of choice – Attracting, nurturing, and retaining the very best people;
To be an organization that is vibrant and innovative – Reinvesting for constant and never-ending improvement;
To make a difference –  Through our services and by contributing to causes about which our community cares.



To get something, give without expectations of getting; don’t get then give.


The only mistake you can make is not being open about your mistakes.


If it is to be, then it is up to me.


Set others up for success.


Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, or renegotiate.

DLS History


DLS provides language training to Foreign Service Officers and government personnel


DLS wins first contract with the Defense Language Institute – Washington (DLI-W)


DLS becomes the first language services company to be awarded a GSA schedule


DLS linguists translate the Osama bin Laden tapes


DLS opens a satellite office in Hanover, MD


DLS launches AFPAK Hands, a language training program for military in Afghanistan

DLS opens an English language program in the UAE


DLS awarded contract for translation support services for NVTC


650 students graduate from our AFPAK program (phase 1) with 52% exceeding training goals


DLS develops a performance-based (vs. proficiency-based) language training curriculum with the Navy Special Warfare Center

DLS provides interpretation services to President of Peru during his first visit to the United States

DLS opens a satellite office in Herndon, VA


DLS moves MD office from Hanover to expanded facility in Elkridge

DLS moves Herndon office to a larger facility, doubling number of classrooms

DLS develops mission-focused, integrated Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) curriculum and subsequent teacher training for the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC)


DLS continues to expand Herndon Location


DLS awarded contract for translation support services for NVTC (second time)

DLS awarded DLI-W multiple award IDIQ contract (Fifth time)


DLS expands Elkridge & Herndon locations, doubling number of classrooms


DLS expands curriculum development support for DLNSEO’s CultureReady Basics training tool

NIST security compliance achieved

DLS launches DLS Online, our online platform for students and instructors


DLS successfully shifts all classes and staff members online in response to COVID-19 pandemic

DLS launches Virtual Reality training


DLS awarded BPA language training contract for Army students from Acquisition & Procurement Management Office

DLS awarded two Single Award IDIQ language training contracts from DLI-W


DLS awarded extension of single award language training contract with DIA

DLS awarded extension of English language training contract for students in the UAE from AFSAT

DLS awarded accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training for language and cultural training

Memberships & Accreditation

Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training

The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority on educational quality. ACCET evaluates and enhances the delivery of continuing education through an independent peer-review. Accreditation is a voluntary and comprehensive process to determine whether an institution or program meets the standards of the accrediting body in educational quality and effectiveness.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 12,500 language educators, students, and administrators.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. We do this by Setting standards for marketplace trust – Encouraging and supporting best practices by engaging with and educating consumers and businesses – Celebrating marketplace role models – Calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior – Creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities.

Virginia Chamber of Commerce (VCC)

VCC’s mission is to be the leading non-partisan business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory, civic and judicial arenas at the state and federal level to be a force for long-term economic growth in the Commonwealth.

Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MCC)

Maryland’s businesses need a strong voice in Annapolis to help the state compete regionally, nationally and globally. The Maryland Chamber is that voice, and they bring businesses and policymakers together to achieve that goal. The Maryland Chamber is the only organization focused on growing all of Maryland’s businesses.

Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO)

CALICO is an international organization dedicated to research and development in the use of computer technology in language learning: computer-assisted language learning (CALL).

American Translators Association (ATA)

The ATA was established in 1959 to advance the translation and interpreting professions, foster the professional development of individual translators and interpreters, and is now the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States with more than 10,000 members in 90 countries.

National Capital Area Translators Association (NCATA)

NCATA is the Washington, D.C. region’s local chapter for the American Translators Association, serving translators, interpreters and other language professionals.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International

ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards. Today, over 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

Foreign Area Officers Association (FAOA)

Established in 1995 by a group of senior Army FAOs, the FAOA exists to foster community and networking opportunities.

Young Presidents Organization Gold (YPOG)

YPO is the premier global leadership organization for more than 27,000 chief executives in over 130 countries and the global platform for them to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.

Washington Network Group (WNG)

WNG is a membership organization of professionals in business, finance, technology, foreign and government affairs, established in 1995. WNG is dedicated to helping WNG Members advance their business and professional objectives by facilitating networking events, educational forums, and career development opportunities.


TiE Global is a nonprofit venture devoted to entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages, from incubation, throughout the entrepreneurial lifecycle. With a global reach and a local focus, the heart of TiE efforts lies in its five foundational programs, – Mentoring, Networking, Education, Funding, and Incubation.

Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR)

The SIETAR was founded in 1974 as an interdisciplinary network for trainers and researchers in the area of intercultural and cross-cultural communication.

American Management Association (AMA)

The AMA is an American non-profit educational membership organization for the promotion of management, based in New York City.

National Museum of Language (NML)

NML’s mission is to inspire an appreciation for the magic and beauty of language. NML brings together people from diverse language circles – academic, governmental, social, business, scientific, literary, technological – and provides a public forum through which they can focus attention on language as a human phenomenon and languages within broad cultural settings.

Association of Language Companies

The Association of Language Companies (ALC) is a national trade association representing businesses that provide translation, interpretation, localization, language testing, and language training services.

Organization of Foreign Affairs Professionals

DACOR are an organization of foreign affairs professionals whose careers are defined by international impact. Our members are united in their belief that diplomatic relationships based on deep political, economic, and cultural understanding can solve international problems and change the course of history.

Other Information

Commercial and Governmental Entity (CAGE) Code


Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)


General Services Administration Schedule (GSA)


North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Language Schools – 611630 

Educational Support Services – 611710 

Translation and Interpretation Services – 541930